Get off my land!

13 Feb 2020
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I've been hovering in the background reading the blogs and always appreciating the effort made by you all in writing and commenting. It's been a while since I contributed and felt it time to pop in and say Hi.

Was that selfish of me? Taking and not giving! Should I have, at least, made a comment or acknowledged that I'd read it? Would that have made the blog writer feel any different? Or me?

I have found that my life has revolved around what I thought I should do or maybe more significantly, what I thought others thought I should do (if that makes sense!). People Pleaser: my middle name and yet I'm seen as very confident and assertive and was once accused by an older sibling of being heartless!

In retrospect, I understand that by creating my own space when I needed to, may have come across as being distant or disinterested and the "heartless" was perhaps a bit of emotional detachment. However, I have recently discovered that this opinion of me is generally made by people who are only taking from me anyway and in the search for my own space, I would no longer be serving their purpose.

I am learning to be quite protective of my own world, my space, my boundaries. Not in a reclusive way, not in a selfish way, just in an "I choose" kind of way. The best thing about this acceptance is that I don't feel the need to apologise for creating it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sociable, helpful and welcoming but I know its ok to do what's right for me and that might mean not inviting anyone in for a short while! So if you or I decide we need a little bit of peace behind our boundary wall, it's alright to take it, it's alright to recharge, it's alright to choose you, it's alright to enjoy it, it's alright not to feel guilty and it's alright to let people know.

Yvonne

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Lynzi

Feb. 13, 2020, 5:12 a.m.

Thanks Yvonne for bring brave enough to blog. Yes boundaries are so important, yet something my parents didn't have and my mum could not handle when l tried to establish mine. She's dead now and although traumatic and terribly sad, her death eventually). I'm working on my boundaries too. It's our right as healthy humans. Ooh some folk can't handle us taking our power back, but those who love us and have their own healthy boundaries (or are also a work I progress) will accept us. I love "get off my land" my sister and l find it hilarious to shout this in an angry "farmer" voice. Happy Thursday Moodscopers! Love Lynzi Ann x

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Lynzi

Feb. 13, 2020, 5:13 a.m.

*her death (eventually) set me free.

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 13, 2020, 7:29 a.m.

Hi Lynzi, as parents, we have to learn to 'let go'; if we’ve done our jobs right, we’ve brought our children up to be independent, (something the children have wanted and needed for years) and we have to establish our own boundaries once more as do the children, finding their own way in the world. As 'children', we need to fly the nest, make our own decisions and learn by our own mistakes...it’s what we’ve all done. Maybe your mum didn’t think she’d done a 'perfect' job or maybe she wanted to control you like she did when you were a little girl. My mum used to want to know what was in every piece of mail...no mobile phones when I was a teenager or when I first started work...imagine her now with texting going off all the time?! She used to be chomping at the bit to know what was in our post!! I tended to share, unless it was a letter from my boyfriend (now Mr. Bear!) but it often helped to share things like ‘brown envelopes', official stuff as I needed to know what to do with them!! Love the angry 'get off my land'....might use that when someone in the household goes in my handbag - it’s MY handbag, lolilol!!! Bear x

Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:42 a.m.

Hi Linzi and thank you. I think you're right when people can't handle your self-empowerment and often feel distanced by it. As you said, your closest will know what and why you are doing it. With hindsight as someone else commented, maybe communication is the key although I'm not actually sure that its always a conscious act. That's exactly the voice by the way :)

Cyndi

Feb. 13, 2020, 5:39 a.m.

I love this blog so much. Thank you! As a child, I learned that people are fickle and many, given a chance, will take until there's nothing left to give. I have a fhll set of unhealthy coping mechanisms. Distance, solitude, aloof demeanour, forthright, outspoken. Many of these are viewed as bad things, until one realises that they are there for protection from harm. I choose friends very carefully and only after much deliberation and watching. Being nice to me is no guarantee of friendship. I give my all to my friends and have enough self respect to protect myself and my time with a passion. I do not see your opinion as a bad thing at all. You have self respect and know how to protect it. Good for you!

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Valerie

Feb. 13, 2020, 9:04 a.m.

What a very good way to sum up how I feel Anon,having learnt some lessons the very hard way x

Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:46 a.m.

Learning never ends but sometimes the lessons don't make sense straight away. I'm glad I can now understand my multi faceted personality better and don't feel the need to justify myself anymore. Have a wonderful day x

Lex

Feb. 13, 2020, 6:20 a.m.

" I have recently discovered that this opinion of me is generally made by people who are only taking from me anyway and in the search for my own space, I would no longer be serving their purpose." What an excellent insight, Yvonne! Thank you for sharing!

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Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:47 a.m.

Thank you Lex - and while I'm in a commenting frame of mind ..... thank you for your blogs x

Mary Wednesday

Feb. 13, 2020, 7:44 a.m.

Boundaries are an excellent thing. I am only in the early stages of setting my own, so that hurtful and over-demanding people cannot damage or drain me.

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Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:49 a.m.

I have recently turned 56 and may criticise myself for not having arrived at the party earlier but ...... there's no time limit, we're here now or at least walking in the door! Keep building the fences Mary - but please don't forget a gate x

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 13, 2020, 7:50 a.m.

Morning Yvonne, Glad you could pop out from behind your boundary wall and say hi to us. Waving Bear paws back at you. Not only do you watch from behind there, but you’ve taken a big step to write a blog...thank you. It takes time and energy to give of yourself and you’ve written a great blog that will touch many Moodscopers today, I’m sure. You’ve already received excellent replies. Anonymous's reply above is good and sad - good because they stand up for themselves against 'takers' by using 'Distance, solitude, aloof demeanour, forthright, outspoken.' Those are our protective cloak. If 'takers' take offence, they’ll either cause trouble or move on to the next person. Sad that Anon feels that these are unhealthy options. If true friends 'know and understand you' they wouldn’t do that to you in the first place, or if it was pointed out to them that you feel hurt, they’d be mortified and want to apologise and sort things out. Stick to having a good set of boundaries and have the shotgun ready for 'taking trespassers'! 'Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again'!!! Bear hugs x x x

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The Gardener

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:20 a.m.

Bear, and Yvonne. We were farmers, not too far from London. People resented what they saw as the 'privilege' of land access, and regarded our farms as public parks. Dogs run wild, steal containers and veg, cut fences, Ooh, shooting not good enough. xx

Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:53 a.m.

Thank you both - I have blogged on Moodscope before but it has been some time. Protective cloaks indeed and in this exposed day and age it sometimes feels very nurturing to cover up! That's also a nice analogy Gardener - just reminding people that access is indeed a privilege. x

Mary Wednesday

Feb. 13, 2020, 4:46 p.m.

Coming from a farming background myself, I hear you, Gardener! So often, we wanted to follow people home, picnic on THEIR front lawn and leave our crisp wrappers in THEIR drive. These days I liken the family farm to a factory floor. It's full of big dangerous machinery and (these days) by security gates.

Jul

Feb. 13, 2020, 8:04 a.m.

Good morning Yvonne. You have made me think more about boundaries and it seems that this subject comes up a lot these days, more than it ever used to. It must be because of the intrusion into our lives of social media. Recently for example I have felt overwhelmed by someone sending me Whatsapp messages asking my advice on a difficult problem she's experiencing right now in real time!! Her questions are urgent and therefore she expects my replies to be instant. Most of us prefer texting to the old fashioned telephone where someone could ring at any the of the day and although you needn't answer it, if you did, you could be on the phone for hours. Worse still would be a prearranged call from someone you didn't really want to talk to for ages and ages despite liking them. Anyway what I'm saying is that even with texting, I still feel an urgency to respond and therefore have recently had to turn my phone off at times (OMG what a thing to do!) as I just could not cope with the desperate texts. Great blog Yvonne. Why do you think you haven't commented on Moodscope for a while? Jul xx

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Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:58 a.m.

Hi Jul and thank you. I must admit, I do exactly the same and dare to turn my phone off _ I can imagine some peoples reaction to that notion. I must admit I have become very aware of my screen time and it wasn't good! I don't think there has been any particular reason for not commenting although I might reflect on that a little bit more! Next blog perhaps :) Have a lovely day with or without WhatsApp, whichever you choose x

Adrien

Feb. 13, 2020, 8:40 a.m.

Hey Yvonne, I loved your comment about "should". "I Should" and "I Must" - My first real boss pulled me up on always saying that about things I was going to do. "Why do you do that to yourself? Try using I could and I can, instead. Then when you do it, you feel achievement (I could and I did it..) instead of nothing (it was what I should do like brushing my teeth). And when you don't do something you could have done, you don't beat yourself up instead of feeling shame for failure doing something you should/must do." A lifelong quest to substitute those two. He was a marvelous boss. I have not thought if him for years. And you are now receiving your first avalanche of comments (including mine) from your first blog. I found it a shock and quite dangerous to me, as it seemed to open a Pandora's box of my personal demons that normally mutter and rattle about in a box at the bottom of my wardrobe under my pile of shoes. I am a bloke so the shoes are higgldy piggldy. You could respond to each and every one. You could check them at breakfast, lunch and supper. You could leave other moodscopers chat around the great subject you contributed. You could never read the comments people make to your blog. You could leave it a week then read them. Here - there is no must and no should. Thank you again. Travel Well. Ax

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Oli

Feb. 13, 2020, 10:51 a.m.

I really like what your boss said. It's the way it works on how we interpret the consequences of our behaviour. If we "should" do something it's like it takes some of our agency away, and therefore one is less entitled to feel pride in its achievement; more shame if we fail. But with "I could" and "I can" we feel ownership of the action. PS, I'm Spring cleaning at the moment and yesterday found a pair of motorbike boots in a case of tins of coconut milk. I have no idea where my Pandora's box is.

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:43 a.m.

Oli, your Pandora’s box is behind the case of tins of coconut milk 8-) Bear x

Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 12:10 p.m.

Thanks Adrien - I have written a few blogs before for Moodscope and I know what you mean about the Pandora's Box, although very cathartic. Definitely sounds like a great boss! :)

Oli

Feb. 13, 2020, 12:26 p.m.

Haha! thank Bear! x

Mary Wednesday

Feb. 13, 2020, 4:47 p.m.

Wonderful boss. I love that!

Oli

Feb. 13, 2020, 10:40 a.m.

Thanks Yvonne. I think, "Get off my land!" could be a useful tool. I like it. As Lynzi said, I also heard it in angry-farmer voice, which felt both funny but assertive. Sometimes it's useful to have a quick and ready mental response to unproductive thought patterns; I can see myself using this. One doesn't always have the time or energy for other methods. The other point about emotional detachment is interesting. It's definitely a description I've had others make about me. I think on balance in my case it's probably a fair criticism -- but I agree, it could be way others say they're not getting what they want. All I'd add is that I literally didn't "hear" the criticism for a long, long time. The other person might as well have been going, "la, la, la". Long story short, I came to care for someone and that's when the notion of emotional detachment landed. It's not necessarily a bad thing. I honestly doubt I could do some of the work I enjoy if I didn't have the ability to let strong emotions slide off. Thank you for the blog.

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Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 12:15 p.m.

Its that old adage of "it takes a certain kind of person" I suppose...... although maybe distinguishing work from pleasure personalities is another type of boundary to set. I was always very "efficient" and I'm sure that spilled over into my personal life more than it needed to. x

The Gardener

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:26 a.m.

Any advice on guilt? I have always avoided 'Tupper Ware parties'. Got involved this week, being sociable. It was a cookery demonstration, using very expensive and impractical cake 'tins'. Did not cook well, tartelets had 'soggy bottoms'. Everybody but me bought something, I refused, but apologised profusely! Is it obligatory? What you go for? And a fruit juice if you are lucky. If I want a friend for coffee, I don't expect them to buy a book as well. Any sufferers out there? Cupboards of useless junk bought under duress? From Crosspatch xx

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Daisy

Feb. 13, 2020, 12:49 p.m.

Also don’t like Tupperware parties- went to a China party- only one design which i hated- only person in room not to buy anything. My poverty at time exceeded my embarrassment

The Gardener

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:30 a.m.

Another episode I was guilty of being rude. I was under considerable strain. Couple next village ran an Anglo-French 'choir'. His French was awful, needed me. Then he tried to teach people 'musicology'. In English, to Bretons. An insult, Bretons can sing before they can talk, naturals. Instead pleading over-load (which was true) I said I had 'a low threshold of boredom'!. Also true, but I ought not to have said it. A little removed from 'Keep off my land', but it is NOT getting involved in stuff which does not interest you, and feeling 'obligated'.

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Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 12:22 p.m.

I know what you mean but it's still a boundary check in its own way. Expectations, obligations, demands, responsibilities - they will always be there and sometimes we will have more choice over them than others. Even allowing yourself the space for consideration is boundary enough rather than instantly responding and back into "their requirement territory". There's absolutely nothing wrong in attending a hostess evening for any kind of product and saying thanks for a lovely evening, enjoyed your company but I don't need anything tonight. Were you invited along as a friend or a sales boost? Your boundaries or their territory? If its a genuine friend they'll have appreciated your presence. x

Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 13, 2020, 11:57 a.m.

Hi TG, feeling obligated and guilt seem to go hand in hand for me. It was annoying to me when I used to go to church, that this one woman would ignore me until she wanted my help. Then she would sidle up to me, with a sickly grin and I would already be worrying about what it was she wanted me to do. Still makes me cringe years later as I just wouldn’t have an answer as to why I couldn’t help...when actually I wanted to say 'No - thank you for asking but I can’t do ....' instead I would hear the myself saying 'Yes, ok I’ll help you!' The trouble is we are often under pressure to oblige in helping in some way, but if there is pressure to do something we don’t want to and we turn around and say ' sorry , no can do...!' I then just feel wracked with guilt. But this particular woman had no boundaries and she also saw me as a soft touch! These days I am trying to remember phrases to say: I’d love to help but it’s going to be at least (number of days/weeks) before that’s going to happen.' Or, as Baby Bear says to us when we want her to walk the doggits with us 'oh, no thank you, maybe another time!' It’s a shame I can’t be totally honest and sometimes just say no without sounding offensive (that’s only in my head) and then not feeling guilty afterwards. Bear x

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Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 12:28 p.m.

I know what you mean and I have been working on this guilt and obligation for many years. I think there are ways and means of saying what you want without putting a hand in someone's face. I guess its similar to someone asking your opinion - they hopefully want you to be honest but not rude. I try and sometimes think how I would react if someone had said that to me and I would say that, 99% of the time, I would have accepted it as a genuine response made through their choice. x

Daisy

Feb. 13, 2020, 12:46 p.m.

Hi - I struggle with boundaries and recognise what you say. My brothers wife is a taker and often rude to me, and I guess others. I seem to get blindsided by her - and she seems to have brain washed him. Her boundaries are keep out but she also expects you to behave and do certain things- when I realise I have been taken advantage of - I feel angry and sad at the split that is created with my brother- I appear the difficult one. So understand the label you feel. I am working hard to detach my emotions and try to look past the immediate but find it hard thank you for the blog and sharing- it helps- take care

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Bearofliddlebrain

Feb. 13, 2020, 2:35 p.m.

Wishing you strength, Daisy, much strength to stand up to but not against your SiL! She’s selfish and rude...don’t let her make you like that ***

The Gardener

Feb. 13, 2020, 5:49 p.m.

Yvonne, been thinking, the invite was specifically for the cookery demo. We were all elderly, half of us widows. Neither the hostess nor the demonstrator needed money. The 'goods' were expensive and impractical. Anything I bought would add to the clutter in my house, for my kids to clear up.I can see myself now, as I am dragged to the care home, shouting 'I'm not going to buy anything when I get there'. The neighbours, waving me off, saying to each other 'Mean to the last'. I think this is a serious thing, not wanting to seem 'mean'. But the lady would not invite me for a coffee without strings attached, yet she has been to loads of parties 'chez moi

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Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 6:37 p.m.

I understand what you're saying and I'm certainly no expert but I think it might help if you maybe looked at your reasons for accepting the invite rather than the decision not to buy. Is it a social group pressure that you each invite each other to your respective houses? Is there a basis of friendship? Some "obligations" are harder to avoid than others although it should never be at a personal cost to yourself.

The Gardener

Feb. 13, 2020, 8:05 p.m.

It was a 'one off', been friends with the lady for nearly 30 years. I may have over-reacted - but like Daisy above I felt embarrassed at not buying anything, then question, if you are not going to buy don't accept the invite?

The Gardener

Feb. 13, 2020, 5:56 p.m.

Sorry about this, Yvonne, still on 'obligations'. I was pressed into service to do church flowers, very few of us. We have to provide our own flowers, 5/6 times a year. I did them last week. Now we have the priest's 'state' funeral. The flower organiser has ordered florist flowers, and we are asked to dub up 10 euros each. Not much. But he was not welcoming to protestants (previous priests were, and Pope has stressed 'all christians') or English. I've never parted with 10 euros in a less christian spirit.

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Yvonne

Feb. 13, 2020, 6:43 p.m.

Again, its other people's expectations of you and sometimes it seems "easier" to go with the flow. I've done it on many occasions when I think it would be more problematic to do otherwise. Could you have said "I'll happily help with the flowers but don't feel comfortable about contributing 10 Euros" or would that have generated more issues for you within this group. Your boundaries may just be allowing yourself time to consider your options and make a balanced decision that works for you, not for everyone else. Its not necessarily a wall or a fence to allow you to say no. Now that the events are past and you can reflect fully - would you have chosen differently?

The Gardener

Feb. 13, 2020, 8:09 p.m.

This, again, is a 'one off'. Most unusual the priest died 'in harness'. They usually retire to a super retirement home and never heard of again. The whole running of the church is awful - I have to 'give up or shut up!' thanks for input.

Dido

Feb. 14, 2020, 6:52 a.m.

Hi Yvonne, I'm on the same journey at the moment, creating my home where I feel safe, rather than the open house I have always tried to hold. No less welcoming but my place primarily for me. Thank you its good to know others tread a similar path.

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